Iga Swiatek's superb form continued as she overcame another grand slam champion in the form of Bianca Andreescu to reach the last four of the Internazionali d'Italia.

Swiatek, who will be aiming to regain the French Open title she won in 2020 when she heads to Roland Garros later this month, has won 26 matches on the bounce after a 7-6 (7-2) 6-0 triumph over Andreescu, the 2019 US Open champion.

The 20-year-old Pole has now won all nine of her matches since she became world number one following Ash Barty's retirement in March. 

That makes her part of an exclusive club, with only Justine Henin (in 2004) and Victoria Azarenka (in 2012) having achieved that feat in the 21st century.

Swiatek's winning streak also matches Azarenka's 2012 sequence as the fifth-longest this century. Henin and the two Williams sisters are the only players to have won more consecutive matches since the start of 2000.

"Being in that kind of group is like a dream come true for me," said Swiatek, who has won 38 of her past 39 sets since her fourth-round match at the Indian Wells Open.

"I wouldn't think of that when I was younger. I'm pretty happy that I could do that because consistency was the thing I really wanted to work on last year. This year I feel like it clicked."

The only player to have beaten Swiatek in a tour-level quarter-final to date is Maria Sakkari, at Roland Garros last year, but the Greek saw victory slip from her grasp against Ons Jabeur.

Sakkari led 6-1 5-2 against the Tunisian, yet Jabeur rallied remarkably to claim a first career win against a top-five opponent on clay, prevailing 1-6 7-5 6-1.

After winning the Madrid Open last week, Jabeur has now won 10 straight matches, while she has claimed 16 victories on clay in 2022, leading the way on the WTA Tour.

While Jabeur will face world number 23 Daria Kasatkina, whose opponent Jil Teichmann retired when 6-4 3-2 down, Swiatek will go up against third seed Aryna Sabalenka.

Amanda Anisimova had not lost to Sabalenka in four previous meetings over the past three years, but her luck ran out as she went down 4-6 6-3 6-2.

World number one Iga Swiatek beat Victoria Azarenka 6-4 6-1 to progress to the quarter-finals of the Internazionali d'Italia in Rome on Thursday. 

Swiatek, who became the first female player to win 25 consecutive matches since Serena Williams in 2015, will face Bianca Andreescu in the last eight after she eased past Petra Martic 6-4 6-4.

"I didn't start well, and everybody could see that," Swiatek told reporters. "I'm really happy with the way I reacted and how I improved in the first set.

"Also how different the second set looked to the first one because I could really reset and really change the way I played. That's the most positive thing for me."

There was a shock in the final game of the day, though, as Daria Kasatkina dumped out number two seed Paula Badosa 6-4 6-4. 

Third seed Aryna Sabalenka sealed a third straight win over Jessica Pegula, easing to a 6-1 6-4 victory, while fourth seed Maria Sakkari defeated Coco Gauff 6-4 7-5.

Seventh seed Danielle Collins was knocked out by unseeded compatriot Amanda Anisimova, the 20-year-old cruising past the Australian Open finalist 6-2 6-2.

There were also victories for Jil Teichmann, who overcame Elena Rybakina 6-7 (3-7) 6-3 7-5, and ninth seed Ons Jabeur, who beat Yulia Putintseva 6-3 6-2.

Iga Swiatek and Paula Badosa progressed to the third round of the Internazionali d'Italia with ease as the former continued her impressive winning run on Wednesday.

Top seed Switaek, seeking a fifth consecutive title, breezed past Elena-Gabriela Ruse 6-3 6-0 as she became the first female player to win 24 consecutive matches since Serena Williams in 2015.

Badosa followed suit by dispatching Aliaksandra Sasnovich 6-2 6-1 in just an hour and 17 minutes, teeing up a third-round clash with Daria Kasatkina, who beat Leylah Fernandez 4-6 6-3 7-6 (7-2).

Aryna Sabalenka, the third favourite in Italy, also made light work of Zhang Shuai to triumph 6-2 6-0, while fourth seed Maria Sakkari cruised past Madrid Open semi-finalist Ekaterina Alexandrova 6-3 6-2.

Sakkari will next face a Rome rematch with Coco Gauff, who defeated compatriot Madison Brengle 6-2 6-4. Teenager Gauff's sole win against Sakkari came at this tournament in the second round last year.

Yulia Putintseva came from behind to beat Garbine Muguruza 3-7 7-6 (7-4) 6-1, and will next meet Ons Jabeur, who made it eight successive main-draw wins by defeating Ajla Tomljanovic 7-5 6-2.

Seventh seed Danielle Collins also battled past former world number one Simona Halep 7-6 (7-1) 6-3.

There was no such joy for fifth seed Anett Kontaveit as she crashed out to Petra Martic in straight sets, while Jil Teichmann upset former Rome champion Karolina Pliskova in a three-set thriller.

Belinda Bencic, who was ranked as 12th seed, was another early casualty as she fell to a 7-6 (7-4) 6-1 defeat against American Amanda Anisimova.

Meanwhile, Jessica Pegula secured her third-round spot after Anhelina Kalinina withdrew due to injury, with Victoria Azarenka earning a straightforward 6-2 6-4 victory over Camila Osorio to get a shot at favourite Swiatek in the next round.

Naomi Osaka joined several other big names in falling to a second-round exit at the Madrid Open, although Emma Raducanu cruised to a routine straight-sets win over Marta Kostyuk.

Four-time grand slam winner Osaka crashed to a resounding 6-3 6-1 loss to Spain's Sara Sorribes Tormo, exiting her first tournament on clay since the 2021 French Open, where she withdrew citing mental health issues.

Osaka, who had posted an underwhelming 20-15 record on the surface prior to this week, looked uncomfortable throughout and appeared to struggle with a leg injury during a disappointing second set display.

The 24-year-old was not the only high profile player to be on the receiving end of a shock during a day of drama in the Spanish capital, as several of the competition's seeds failed to secure places in the last 16.

Another home favourite, Garbine Muguruza, fell to a resounding loss of her own as Anhelina Kalinina raced to a 6-3 6-0 victory over the seventh seed, while sixth seed Danielle Collins was thrashed 6-1 6-1 by Canadian Bianca Andreescu.

Fourth seed Maria Sakkari was the highest-ranked player in action, and although the world number five won the first set of her clash with Daria Kasatkina, the Greek eventually fell to a 3-6 6-3 6-1 loss, while 2021 US Open runner-up Leylah Fernandez went down 6-4 6-4 to Jil Teichmann.

One big name who did make comfortable progress, however, was Fernandez's US Open conqueror Raducanu, who eased to a 6-2 6-1 win over Kostyuk to set up a last-16 encounter with another Ukrainian in Kalinina. 

The 19-year-old, who has been quoted as saying she believes clay could prove to be her best surface in the future, was delighted with her victory and enjoying the tournament after dropping just one game in the second set.

"I'm definitely happy with my performance," Raducanu said on court. "Marta's a great opponent - I knew it was going to be a really tough battle. I went out there trying to be really aggressive and it paid off.

"It's my first clay court season and I'm really enjoying it. Madrid is such a cool city and it's got such a great vibe about it. I definitely want to try and stay here for as long as possible."

Naomi Osaka was encouraged by her 2022 clay-court debut, winning her opening match at the Madrid Open against Anastasia Potapova.

The former world number one has not played on the red dirt since the 2021 French Open, where she withdrew citing mental health issues.

Heading into this week in Madrid, Osaka had an underwhelming 20-15 record on clay, with each of her grand slam successes coming on hard courts.

But the 24-year-old has spoken of adjusting her approach and learning from clay king Rafael Nadal – and the early signs were positive.

She needed just over an hour to defeat Potapova 6-3 6-1 on Friday and said: "I'm honestly trying to be more positive with myself.

"This year I came a week early to train on red clay, so I'm just trying to give myself more chances to do better.

Osaka added: "To be able to do it in two sets, for me, it's a really good starting block. 

"I think today for me it was really fun, just being able to be back on the clay and not taking those moments for granted."

Fellow hard-court major champions Emma Raducanu and Bianca Andreescu also won their openers, although the latter required three sets to eventually coast past Alison Riske 6-4 3-6 6-0.

Raducanu will play another 19-year-old in the second round, with the US Open champion paired with Marta Kostyuk after getting over a slightly slow start to thrash Tereza Martincova 7-6 (7-3) 6-0.

Fourth seed Maria Sakkari overcame a scare, meanwhile, ending her losing run at three matches by coming from behind to defeat Madison Keys in three sets.

"Overall, it was a very positive match to get myself back in the winning feeling," the Greek said.

Emma Raducanu will take on Iga Swiatek in an intriguing quarter-final at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix but Maria Sakkari and Karolina Pliskova were eliminated. 

US Open champion Raducanu overcame Tamara Korpatsch 6-0 2-6 6-1 to set up a meeting with world number one Swiatek. 

It will be the pair's first meeting on the WTA Tour and Raducanu's maiden encounter with a top-10 opponent. 

The Briton, who is playing her first Tour-level clay-court event, won 90 per cent of points on her first serve in the opening set but that slipped to 56 per cent as she opened the door to a comeback in the second. 

However, Raducanu rediscovered her composure in the decider and got over the line after an hour and 39 minutes.

Fourth seed Sakkari retired while 6-4 3-1 down to home hope Laura Siegemund, who will take on Liudmila Samsonova after she bested Pliskova 6-4 6-4. 

Paula Badosa came through a third-set tie-break to beat Elena Rybakina 6-2 4-6 7-6 (7-4) and Aryna Sabalenka put a spanner in the works of Bianca Andreescu's comeback by taking their match 6-1 3-6 6-2. 

Ons Jabeur beat Daria Kasatkina and Anett Kontaveit eventually ousted Ekaterina Alexandrova in a tie-break finale after surrendering the first set.

At the Istanbul Cup, third seed Veronika Kudermetova was granted a walkover against Ana Bogdan.  

Seeds Ajla Tomljanovic (6) and Sara Sorribes Tormo (7) got past Lesia Tsurenko and Varvara Gracheva respectively, while there were also wins for Yulia Putintseva and Anastasia Potapova. 

Former French Open champion Iga Swiatek has risen to world number one in the wake of Ashleigh Barty's retirement with a 6-2 6-0 win over Viktorija Golubic at the WTA Miami Open on Friday, sealing her ascent.

Swiatek, who won recent WTA 1000 events this year at Indian Wells and Doha, cruised to victory in one hour and 14 minutes over the Swiss.

The 20-year-old Pole, who won the French Open in 2020 and reached this year's Australian Open semi-finals, will officially become the top-ranked player when the rankings are updated on Monday April 4.

Barty's name will be removed from the rankings at her request having announced her shock retirement earlier this week at the age of 25, despite winning this year's Australian Open and last year's Wimbledon titles.

Swiatek is the 28th woman to reach the summit in the WTA rankings, becoming the youngest player at the top since Caroline Wozniacki in 2010. She will become Poland's first-ever number one in tennis history.

The Pole extended her winning streak to 12 matches against Golubic, taking her to a tour-high 21 wins this year, in a match where she saved eight of nine break points and took six of the nine she generated.

Swiatek's main immediate competition for the top rank was fifth seed Paula Badosa who got past Marie Bouzkova 7-5 7-5 in two hours and three minutes.

Badosa, who got the edge by grinding out games under pressure, will face Yulia Putintseva in the third round after she won 6-3 4-6 7-5 over Lesia Tsurenko.

Fourth seed Maria Sakkari was bundled out of contention following a shock 4-6 6-1 6-2 loss to Brazilian Beatriz Haddad Maia.

Two-time major winner Petra Kvitova needed three sets to get past Clara Burel, winning 6-1 3-6 6-3 in one hour and 45 minutes.

Jessica Pegula beat Sloane Stephens 6-1 6-4, Cori Gauff got past Qiang Wang 7-5 6-4 and 20th seed Elise Mertens went down 7-5 2-6 6-1 to Linda Fruhvirtova.

Iga Swiatek defeated Simona Halep 7-6 (8-6) 6-4 at the Indian Wells Open on Friday, progressing to the final and extending her winning streak to 10.

The Polish world number four came back from a break down in each set - as well as saving two set points in the first-set tiebreak - to level her head-to-head record with Halep at 2-2.

After taking out the WTA 1000 tournament in Doha last month, Swiatek has not had it all her way this week in California. Aside from a 6-1 6-0 trouncing of Madison Keys, the 20-year-old had to fight from a set down in her opening three matches.

Following a tight first set, Halep won three games in a row to take a 4-2 lead, but it was here Swiatek started to open up on return of serve.

She was ultimately able to capitalise on Halep's second serve, winning 14 of a total 21 points when given a second look, to earn five service breaks for the match.

Swiatek is now at least guaranteed to reach a career-high world number three ranking with, and a win in the final would move her to number two, only behind Ashleigh Barty.

She will meet Maria Sakkari in the final on Sunday, who broke down in tears after her hectic 6-2 4-6 6-1 win over Paula Badosa in the late match.

Despite Badosa having a higher first-serve rate than her opponent in the first set at 53.9 per cent, Sakkari was all over the second serve, winning nine out of a total 12 points.

After powering through the first set with flat hitting, the Greek world number six lost momentum in the second and forced play with rushed shot selection after getting broken early.

She still managed one of the shots of the match in trying to save that break of serve, scrambling across court to hit an underarm pass down the line.

Badosa kept her composure on serve to take the second set, winning 21 out of 29 points at an improved 72.9 per cent. Sakkari regrouped and exhibited her unique court coverage, however, taking the win after getting an early break.

Sakkari immediately broke down in tears afterwards, upon making her first WTA 1000 final and defeating the defending champion at Indian Wells.

Two top-ten talents have booked a date in the Indian Wells Open semi-final after Maria Sakkari and Paula Badosa won their quarter-finals in straight sets. 

First up, world number six Sakkari took on Ukrainian Elena Rybakina, prevailing 7-5 6-4.

Rybakina won the first three games of the match, working her way to an early 4-1 lead, before her Greek opponent rattled off six of the next seven games to claim the first set.

Sakkari again faced adversity early in the second set, coming back from 40-0 down in the second game to hold serve, before breaking the very next game to pinch the match-winning lead.

World number five Anett Kontaveit slipped out of the Indian Wells Open after a 3-6 7-5 7-6 (7-5)  loss to Marketa Vondrousova.

Kontaveit was the second-highest seed remaining in the tournament entering Monday's play, and appeared to be on her way through to the fourth round after breaking twice in the opening set.

Yet Vondrousova got the better of her Polish opponent in a topsy turvy second set, forcing a decider that starter in frantic fashion, with a concession of serve in each of the opening five games.

Vondrousova held to end that street yet was pulled back to 4-4 by a resurgent Kontaveit, though the Czech world number 33 eventually closed the match out at the fourth time of asking in the tie-break to tee up a clash with Veronika Kudermetova.

Anett Kontaveit defeated Jelena Ostapenko in straight sets, while Iga Swiatek overcame Maria Sakkari to secure her place in the Qatar Ladies Open final.

Swiatek advanced to the Doha showpiece for the first time after managing her first win over Sakkari in four attempts with a 6-4 6-3 triumph on Friday.

The Pole was in imperious form as she delivered 20 winners to overcome sixth seed Sakkari in an hour and 28 minutes, collecting her seventh top-10 win and second straight such win after defeating Aryna Sabalenka in the quarter-finals.

The seventh seed will now meet Kontaveit, who continued her impressive streak with a 6-1 6-4 win over Ostapenko in just 68 minutes.

Ostapenko headed into the clash on a career-best nine-match winning run, but succumbed to her fourth loss in five meetings with the fourth seed in Qatar.

Ostapenko did have back-to-back break points at 5-5 in the final set, but Kontaveit managed to hold on for victory.

"She can outplay anyone, and then she might not find the consistency sometimes, so you have to be ready for that," Kontaveit said of Ostapenko.

"I was trying to play a consistent match and just do my best on my serve and hold on to it, especially in the second set when I was a break up.

"Sometimes when she's on fire, her returns are unplayable and it's just very difficult.

"But I kept repeating to myself, 'I'm really good at serving it out, I'm really good at serving it out,' and eventually managed to do that.

"How you approach the match, how you're approaching the service games, I think if you're trying to be aggressive [...] that has a lot of effect on the serve."

It will be the seventh final that Kontaveit has contested since last August, converting those appearances into five titles so far. Kontaveit and Swiatek share a pair of wins apiece in previous clashes.

Anett Kontaveit remained on course for a sixth title in seven months, progressing to the Qatar Open semi-finals after defeating Ons Jabeur in straight sets.

Champion in St Petersburg two weeks ago, Kontaveit extended her winning run to eight matches following a 6-4 6-1 success.

The opening set was neck and neck until Kontaveit won 15 out of 16 points from 30-30 at 4-4 to draw first blood and establish a 2-0 lead in the second.

The Estonian, who registered just 12 unforced errors throughout the contest, then took 12 of the last 15 points to advance to the last four. 

"At times, it was just kind of fun because I felt like the level was really good, and I was playing really well," said Kontaveit, who has won nine of her last 13 matches against top-10 opposition.

"I think I have this confidence that I can go deep every week that I'm playing, and I'm not setting these mental barriers to myself that I used to do. 

"I'm very happy with being in the semi-finals, but I also feel like I can still go deeper, I can still do more. So, I'm not too satisfied yet with this result. I feel like if I play well or if I'm consistent, I have a chance with anyone.

"I'm really happy that I'm bringing a good level of tennis consistently every tournament. I think that's something that I'm just most pleased with."

In the semi-finals, Kontaveit will face another in-form player in Jelena Ostapenko, who saw off Garbine Muguruza in straight sets.

Having triumphed in Dubai last week, the 15th seed has now recorded nine successive victories for the first time in her career after prevailing 6-2 6-2.

Ostapenko struck 39 winners and claimed 15 of 18 points on her opponent's second serve as she moved a step closer to a maiden title in Doha, having reached the final six years ago.

Meanwhile, Iga Swiatek is through to her first WTA 1000 semi-final on a hard court after a 6-2 6-3 win over Aryna Sabalenka.

The former French Open champion won seven out of eight breakpoints, while reeling off six successive games in the second set to secure a comfortable victory.

Next up for her is Maria Sakkari, who recorded her third win against Coco Gauff in four meetings after prevailing 6-3 6-3.

The sixth seed is through to her sixth semi-final at WTA 1000 level or above – and targeting her first such title.

Anett Kontaveit clinched the WTA St Petersburg Ladies Trophy title, fighting back to win an enthralling three-set final against world number seven Maria Sakkari on Sunday.

The Estonian, ranked ninth in the world, won her sixth career singles title after recording a tense 5-7 7-6 (7-4) 7-5 win over her Greek rival, in a clash between the tournament's top two seeds.

The victory means Kontaveit leads Sakkari for head-to-head victories, winning seven of their 13 meetings to date, and stretched the champion's remarkable run of indoor wins to 20 matches.

She was made to suffer before recording her first title of 2022, winning the eagerly awaited clash after a gruelling three hours of tennis.

Sakkari struck the first blow, winning a tense opening set as she targeted a first WTA 500 title of her career.

Kontaveit responded strongly and forced a decider by winning a tight second via a tie-break.

Greek top seed Sakkari found herself one service game from victory after a strong start to the third set, before Kontaveit's counter-attack arrived.

Kontaveit rallied after going 5-3 down by registering consecutive breaks, before comfortably seeing out her final service game, and has now won five of her last six singles finals.

Maria Sakkari will face Anett Kontaveit in what seems set to be an enthralling top-10 clash in the final of the St Petersburg Ladies Trophy.

Sakkari, the top seed in the tournament, had to go the distance against Irina-Camelia Begu, with the world number seven eventually prevailing 6-4 6-7 (4-7) 6-4.

That victory took Sakkari three hours and four minutes, as she had to fight back from a break down in the deciding set.

However, she is now into a fourth singles final of her career and has gone one better than her previous best run at St Petersburg, which came in 2020 when she reached the semi-finals.

"It was a very tough match. I think Begu played really, really well," Sakkari said.

"The level of the match was super high. I had to come up with some very tough shots and very physical tennis, but I'm very glad I did it, and I'm super excited to be in the final here."

Second seed Kontaveit awaits in Sunday's final, and the Estonian world number nine should be much fresher after only needing an hour and 11 minutes to see off Jelena Ostapenko 6-3 6-4.

Kontaveit has remarkably now won 19 matches in a row indoors in the longest such sequence since Justine Henin celebrated 22 consecutive victories between 2007 and 2010.

"It was a very competitive match. I really had to bring very good energy to come through on top today," Kontaveit said.

"She's a very aggressive player, so I had to be really ready for her big shots and just be as consistent and take my chances when I could. I felt like I did that really well today."

Sakkari and Kontaveit have met 12 times previously, with each player winning six times.

Maria Sakkari is handling the pressure of playing as top seed in a WTA Tour-level tournament for the first time, as she put herself to within one win of the final at the St Petersburg Ladies Open.

The Greek world number seven saw off a stern test from Elise Mertens on Friday, winning 7-6 (9-7) 6-2 to reach the semi-finals.

Sakkari had to salvage three set points in the opener, but eventually came out on top in the tie-break at the first time of asking.

Even with a comfortable lead in the second set, she failed to take the first three match points on offer, but got the fourth over the line to progress to her first semi-final of the season.

Sakkari, 26, previously reached the St Petersburg semi-final in 2020, where she lost to Elena Rybakina.

"When you're down in the score, you try to play more aggressively and [Elise] was playing really good in the last couple of games," Sakkari explained. 

"She came up with good serves and solid shots from the baseline. I just fought hard."

Next up

Irina-Camelia Begu stands in the way of Sakkari and a place in the final. 

The unseeded Romanian overcame two-time grand slam champion Petra Kvitova in the last 16 and defeated Tereza Martincova 6-4 6-2 in her last-eight tie.

It took just 85 minutes for Begu to secure her place in a fourth semi-final of her career at WTA 500 level or higher, but the first since 2017 in Moscow.

Kontaveit continues remarkable indoor run

World number nine Anett Kontaveit will face Jelena Ostapenko in the other semi-final, after ousting Tokyo 2020 gold medallist Belinda Bencic 7-6 (9-7) 6-2.

After her defeat of Bencic, second seed Kontaveit has now won 18 successive matches at indoor tournaments. She is the first player since Justine Henin in 2010 to go on such a streak.

Last year, the Estonian won titles in Ostrava, Moscow and Cluj-Napoca, which form part of this run.

Ostapenko, meanwhile, beat Aliaksandra Sasnovich 7-6 (7-5) 4-6 6-3 to take her place in the last four. The 2017 French Open champion has only lost to top-10 players so far in 2022 (Paula Badosa and Barbora Krejcikova).

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